Apple Suspends Sale Of Slide-On iPhone 4 Cases
Reports are coming in that suggest that Apple may have stopped the sale of slider cases for the iPhone 4 from its retail stores. Apparently, even cases that are marked with the “Made For iPhone” tag (MFI) are currently being pulled.
This follows our report from last month where we had reported that Apple was investigating possible issue with slider cases that could be responsible for causing scratches or even cracks on the rear glass pane of iPhone 4.
According to folks at Cult of Mac, Apple engineers are presently working from a secret facility to validate these claims. If proven true, it is likely that Apple would permanently ban the sale of these slider cases from their stores. It may be worth noting that slide-on cases for older iPhone models like iPhone 3GS continue to be sold at Apple Stores across the country.
The move could come as a big blow to iPhone case manufacturers, many of whom are reported to have made huge investments already. The production of these cases require manufacturers to invest close to $250,000 for molds alone and the ban on the sale of these sliders could hit the bottom line of these companies quite massively. However, these slide-on cases continue to be sold from other marketing channels. In a statement to Cult of Mac, Ross Howe, the VP of Marketing at Mophie – one of Apple’s MFI partners has stated:
“The Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4 is currently available at our website, www.mophie.com, and at AT&T stores nationwide. The product features design and electronics enhancements that make it the most advanced of the seven generations of the Juice Pack line, and we have had an amazing response from consumers since it launched in September. We maintain a strong partnership with Apple and will continue to innovate new solutions to help iPhone users get more from their device.”
Some case manufacturers view the “Glassgate” issue as one of perception and not real. According to Tim Hickman from Hard Candy Cases, the reported problems with the slide-on cases may be exaggerated since his company has sold over 22,000 cases until now with no reported complaints so far. He writes:
“Iâ€™ve shipped 22,000 units and not heard a single complaint. If there was a problem, we would have heard about it by now. Iâ€™m very suspect that thereâ€™s a real issue there.”
Given that Apple is still investigating the issue, we may have to wait until the company comes out with an official response. Meanwhile, we would like to hear from our readers who have slide-on cases for their iPhone 4. Have you noticed scratches or cracks on your iPhone? Let us know of your experience in the comments below.
[via Cult of Mac]
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